Thursday, January 26, 2017

Big Brother

"Don't move. Stay just like that, Nora. It will probably not hurt."

These were my middle child's instructions as he peered through the scope of his crossbow and positioned his sister in front of the back door. Nora the Brave, acting in the role of Zombie Girl, steadied herself, ready to take one for the team until I intervened.

Whether it's an outbreak of slow-moving zombies, WWE Smackdown, or terrifying monsters scaling the living room walls, this is an almost-daily occurrence for the two most... rambunctious members of my family.

While that story sets the scene, I want to take you back a bit further. Join me in the primary car line, won't you? Nathan and I were chatting about perimeter and area and circumference {I'm just nodding along at this point in fourth-grade} when the teacher opened my car door and helped Owen inside. The first thing that left his mouth was:

"That first-grade guy was saying the SH- word to me."

Nathan and I caught each others' bewildered eyes as our five-year-old passenger continued. "Yeah, the first- and second-graders always say rude stuff and pick on me. They always say the SH- uh- and ends with a -p word." My older son and I exhaled, but Owen didn't miss a beat. Once he finished his tale of the car line pecking order, we asked him how he responded or if it made him feel sad. He assured us his feelings weren't hurt and that it doesn't matter what rude people say. We cheered him on and Nathan reminisced about his days of sitting on the K bench. This led to an interesting bend in the conversation.

I pointed out to Owen that in two short years, he will be the upperclassman, towering over the kindergarten pipsqueaks, which will include his sidekick sister. I asked if he thought Nora would have to learn to ignore and/or tell on rude kids.

His little mouth tightened and his eyebrows knit closer together. His voice was low when he finally answered:

"I will get her to sit right by me and I won't let anyone judge her at all."

Sometimes I worry about Nora when I see heavy weaponry leave the toy box, but I do believe her early years of schooling will be a piece of cake.

Happy Thursday, friends.

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